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American Nightmares

90 minutes
comedy, horror

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This entry created 27 May 2024. Last revised on 27 May 2024.

55 hits since 27 May 2024
©1994-2024 Bill Armintrout
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American Nightmares

Rating: gold star gold star gold star gold star gold star no star no star no star no star no star (5.00)

The people behind Tales From the Hood return with another horror anthology.

As the movie begins, Stuart (Jared Kusnitz) and Jamal (Michael Felix) are watching naked women on multiple screens. We learn they are hacking into feeds without permission, and are not only voyeurs but also extortionists.

But then someone hacks into their screens! It is Mr. Maloevolent (Danny Trejo) and Mysterious Woman (Nichelle Nichols), who force the two men to watch a series of stories about American sins…

A woman (Tamala Jones) who has just left an abusive relationship with Reggie (Giovanni Watson) receives an invitation to a new kind of online dating service: Perfect Mates.
The Prosecutor
Dishonest prosecutor running for governor (Jay Mohr) is terrorized when a man he framed, Floyd Johnson (Eddie Steeples), escapes before execution. Brief appearance by Vivica A. Fox as an interviewer.
White Flight
Crooked, racist ex-cop Tommy Deuchet (Brendan Sexton III) schemes to transport his family to a better dimension.
The Samaritan
Story of a circus-obsessed invalid (Chris Kattan as Mr. Preevy) who invites a profit-oriented pimp (Mark Christopher Lawrence as Borris), and a crucifix-clutching prostitute (Molly Pan as Angel) into his apartment.
Hate Radio
A right-wing, woman-hating radio personality (Jimmy Shubert as Hugh Bluff) has a caller who praises the way a serial killer known as The Chopper (James Duval) puts women in their place.
The Healer
Fraudulent faith healer Bishop Love (Barry Shabaka Henley) is kidnapped by Roscoe (Clarence Williams III), whose daughter died because she believed in Love's false cures.
Thy Will Be Done
Pro-life extremists kidnap pregnant woman and force her to give birth to a very unwanted child.

The movie then completes the story of Stuart and Jamal, and some closing words from Mr. Malevolent.

The production standards for this film are good, and the special effects are brief but generally well done. Casting is excellent.

Several stories have essentially the same premise: bad man gets what he deserves. Two stories have punchline-type endings.

Note that the movie includes brief nudity of the porn variety, brief glimpse of private parts, occasional violence or gore, and explicit language in places.

Danny Trejo makes an excellent host, combining humor with fright. Nichelle Nichols mostly gets to mumble and look spooky.

I thought Mates worked well on the strength of its cast. The Prosecutor was spooky but not that engaging. White Flight has a twist ending, if you can endure the racism portrayed. The Samaritan is very good, but the blend of slasher flick and the silliness of crucifix-as-game-token was jarring. Hate Radio combined interesting concept and special effects with unlikable characters. I didn't find it enjoyable, and the political comments were unnecessary. The Healer is the best of the bunch, with solid performances and a surprise twist. Thy Will Be Done blends kidnap drama with a twist ending and good special effects, but the characters lacked interest and the ending was predictable.

Final film of Clarence Williams III (Mod Squad).

Can you game it? While there are some fights, there is nothing that would work on the tabletop.

I wasn't too impressed with this one, all in all. It's not horribly bad. It's mostly fun to watch.